Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Greed Destroys America

How Greed Destroys America by Robert Parry

Robert Parry has a pretty good handle on what went wrong with America. I'm quoting his article more then usual because it's worth it.

I have similar views, one I'd like to emphasize: the labels are killing us. Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, etc., etc. Giving credence - and votes - based on labels is vastly more dangerous then people who continue to use them realize. The trick is to take a label, any label, and subvert it until it no longer represents anything like the original idea. People who believe in labels think the democrats are different then the republicans, etc., but that's simply not true.

"If the “free-market” theories of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman were correct, the United States of the last three decades should have experienced a golden age in which the lavish rewards flowing to the titans of industry would have transformed the society into a vibrant force for beneficial progress.


Ayn Rand became the darling of the American Right with her books, such as Atlas Shrugged, promoting the elitist notion that brilliant individuals represented the engine of society and that government efforts to lessen social inequality or help the average citizen were unjust and unwise.


Yet, while Rand and Friedman gave some intellectual heft to “free-market” theories, Ronald Reagan proved to be the perfect pied piper for guiding millions of working Americans in a happy dance toward their own serfdom


Ironically, the Reagan era came just as technology – much of it created by government-funded research – was on the cusp of creating extraordinary wealth that could have been shared with average Americans. Those benefits instead accrued to the top one or two percent.


The Rand/Friedman elitism also remains alive with today’s arguments from Republicans who protest the idea of raising taxes on businessmen and entrepreneurs because they are the ones who “create the jobs,” even if there is little evidence that they are actually creating American jobs.


In 2008, the last year for which data are available, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners took in more than 10 percent of the personal income in the United States, including capital gains, and the top 1 percent took in more than 20 percent."


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